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Chengdu J-20 news and analysis Part III

Hood

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I have to contradict, since it gives us an idea of the production rate, overall CAC's manufatcuring capacity and the time it needs from first sight of a new sub-type to service introduction. As such the current number of three units - 176th, 172nd and 9th Brigades - fit quite nice to the expected number of aircarft from the first batch and also fits quite fine to LRIP capacity. Now it would be interesting to know, if the first WS-10C-powered one which were now posted (in fact even last year in summer) are still the same or if they are only ramping up production ... and as such it will be interesting to see, when the first unit will gain this new variant.
Indeed yes, from an intelligence and analysis standpoint it does matter and such information is important for filling in the gaps in the known information, which we all know is rather sketchy for Chinese military systems. But for the general enthusiast I see little to argue about. We can't easily verify the Japanese article, we don't even know when the author prepared the article, it may well have been written some time ago.
I must confess I am not a serial number hunter and that does tend to skew my viewpoint.
 

pegasus

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We can't easily verify the Japanese article, we don't even know when the author prepared the article, it may well have been written some time ago.
I must confess I am not a serial number hunter and that does tend to skew my viewpoint.
You can verify the article very easily, first it is for sale online, second if you know the production numbers of aircraft like MiG-29, F-16 or Su-27 the article offers you a list of aircraft and production with operational numbers, easily without even knowing Japanese you can verify it says 10 J-20 have been produced according to them because they consider only operational and serial produced aircraft.

My point was knowing the exact number is an inference, why? first inference is all the aircraft made so far have been shown on pictures, if that is the case then the inference is correct, there are 20 J-20s made so far.

Now from the military point of view, the Chinese will use it as propaganda tool for the national audience, and potential rivals, but have they really made 20 J-20s?
that can not be verified with a 100% confirmation, of course you can think it is the most likely number due to low production numbers.

Now if we think the Chinese really are as fool to base J-20s in known bases does not make sense from the military point of view, why? simple air bases can be attacked and as the 1967 war between Israel and the Arabs showed, you can wipe out an entire air force if you destroy it on the ground.

If you build many aircraft the risk of losing the entire fleet well is reduced, but if they build few, well with modern hypersonic weapons you can render the J-20 fleet useless easily.


are there 20 J-20s build so far and are all operational aircraft? i doubt it because some are prototypes, the article claims there are 10 aircraft operational, and that is very likely the true, since the early prototypes are very likely not operational and the airticle says only 2000+ F-16 are operational and every body knows there have been made more than 4000 built but the reality many have been retired, same is MiG-29, more than 1200+ have been made but they list less than 800, that is not the case of J-10s that they claim around 250+ aircraft operational and made, or aircraft like Rafale that the number between operational and produced aircraft almost match.

So can you conclude 20 J-20s made are a definitive number? no because you only see the aircraft China wants you to see, only Chengdu knows the exact numbers, the rest is inference, that limits the accuracy of non official estimates.
For a nation like Japan, it is if primordial inportance to know the exact number of J-20 because they have a territorial dispute with China on the senkaku/daiyou Island archipelago, but if they have been built 20 and 10 are operational at this moment there is parity with China because Japan is receiving F-35s and the USA has some F-35 in Japan. So militarily speaking there are other ways to confirm how many J-20s are operational and they need them in order to keep parity
 
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Blitzo

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Trying to estimate how many J-20s have been produced in service brings up the same challenge as trying to estimate how many other Chinese combat aircraft (or aircraft overall) have been produced or are in service.

Counting serials provides a definitive floor for the number of aircraft in service, but the actual number in service at any one time is likely greater than the serials confirmed to us at anyone time.
For example in July 2019 we got the first photo (official release) confirming J-20 serial 62001 at 9th brigade which is a regular combat unit.

... However early 2019 we had pictures and videos taken on the ground showing J-20s were already flying over the skies of Wuhu, and a satellite picture in April captured three J-20s at 9th brigade's base out in the open, virtually confirming that at least three J-20s at the time were already present at 9th brigade.

But it took until July for them to confirm the chronological "first" J-20 in service at 9th brigade.

In late 2019 we had more pictures of serials at 9th brigade, up to 62009 (of which 6 serials from 62001 to 62009 were visually confirmed), but which taken together suggests that at least 9 J-20s are in service with 9th brigade.



Dingxin has serials 78271 to 78278 all confirmed, meaning at least 8 J-20s are present.
Cangzhou has serials 78230 to 78233 all confirmed, meaning at least 4 J-20s are present.
And Wuhu has serials 62001 to 62009 seen of which 6 are confirmed but which we can interpret as at least 9 J-20s are present.


So, that makes at least 21 J-20s in service of which at least 9 are in a regular frontline combat unit (9th brigade at wuhu).
But the real question is how many J-20s are we not seeing?

Or rather, asking it another way -- how many J-20 serials are the PLA deliberately hiding from us?
It is an established fact that Chinese aircraft spotters take great care to avoid giving away serials of aircraft until a unit is well established and even then it is done in a way that it is basically impossible for us to judge how many aircraft are definitively in a unit at any one time. (e.g.: it is rare that they give us the "highest chronological serial" of an aircraft in a given unit)
The PLA themselves are of course even more careful to avoid giving away serials of aircraft in a manner that could allow for an accurate estimate of how many aircraft exist.


However, based on the estimated sizes of relatively recent production aircraft like J-16 and J-10B/C, the rate of "confirmed serials" to "estimated production run" was about 1 in 3; i.e.: for every three airframes produced and subsequently in service, perhaps we would get 1 confirmed serial.

So the question is -- what is the ratio for J-20s?
 
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Deino

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We can't easily verify the Japanese article, we don't even know when the author prepared the article, it may well have been written some time ago.
I must confess I am not a serial number hunter and that does tend to skew my viewpoint.
You can verify the article very easily, first it is for sale online, second if you know the production numbers of aircraft like MiG-29, F-16 or Su-27 the article offers you a list of aircraft and production with operational numbers, easily without even knowing Japanese you can verify it says 10 J-20 have been produced according to them because they consider only operational and serial produced aircraft.

My point was knowing the exact number is an inference, why? first inference is all the aircraft made so far have been shown on pictures, if that is the case then the inference is correct, there are 20 J-20s made so far.

Now from the military point of view, the Chinese will use it as propaganda tool for the national audience, and potential rivals, but have they really made 20 J-20s?
that can not be verified with a 100% confirmation, of course you can think it is the most likely number due to low production numbers.

Now if we think the Chinese really are as fool to base J-20s in known bases does not make sense from the military point of view, why? simple air bases can be attacked and as the 1967 war between Israel and the Arabs showed, you can wipe out an entire air force if you destroy it on the ground.

If you build many aircraft the risk of losing the entire fleet well is reduced, but if they build few, well with modern hypersonic weapons you can render the J-20 fleet useless easily.


are there 20 J-20s build so far and are all operational aircraft? i doubt it because some are prototypes, the article claims there are 10 aircraft operational, and that is very likely the true, since the early prototypes are very likely not operational and the airticle says only 2000+ F-16 are operational and every body knows there have been made more than 4000 built but the reality many have been retired, same is MiG-29, more than 1200+ have been made but they list less than 800, that is not the case of J-10s that they claim around 250+ aircraft operational and made, or aircraft like Rafale that the number between operational and produced aircraft almost match.

So can you conclude 20 J-20s made are a definitive number? no because you only see the aircraft China wants you to see, only Chengdu knows the exact numbers, the rest is inference, that limits the accuracy of non official estimates.
For a nation like Japan, it is if primordial inportance to know the exact number of J-20 because they have a territorial dispute with China on the senkaku/daiyou Island archipelago, but if they have been built 20 and 10 are operational at this moment there is parity with China because Japan is receiving F-35s and the USA has some F-35 in Japan. So militarily speaking there are other ways to confirm how many J-20s are operational and they need them in order to keep parity

Again You avoid a direct answer to a direct - and at least IMO - simple question:

1. why do they think there are only ten operational ones when there are already 18 confirmed?

This directly leads to another question you avoided to answer too:

2. is this ...
a) due to the authors research since he simply made a mistake?
b) since he only had old data available or the report was written well before new images appeared?
c) since he has another explanation?

3. Which again leads us to these missing explanations:
a) he has a certain reason to believe, the Chinese have only ten and they are moved around and always get a new number to hide the true numbers/to fool Deino or other fans/... to whatever?
b) he has another option to explain that difference.

By the way, you again mention in Your long post that "are there 20 J-20s build so far and are all operational aircraft? i doubt it because some are prototypes," Again a speculation, that can easily be proven wrong since this list posted above is clearly only for operational ones. As such it omits - or You deliberately ignore - all similar well known demonstrators and prototypes: 2001, 2002 (now 2004), 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016 and 2017. As such there are even 8 individual aircraft more plus the operational ones making altogether at least 26 confirmed individual airframes.

... and this leads me to the final question I also asked several times but never with a received explanation:

4. Why do you believe a Japanese report in a popular magazine, you did not even read completely more reliable as photographic evidence and accepted facts?

5. Why do You even in your text above calculate the numbers given to the lower end against better knowing or at least without an explanation?


Don't get me wrong and I'm surely not advocating like some other fan boys in certain forums that there are already 5 full brigades with 24 J-20 each operational somewhere in far-Western China hidden in mountain shelters or without any serial to hide the truth. I also don't think that it is powered by a +240kN WS-15 from day one, but I think it is acceptable to take the airframes photographed as confirmed so that in sum 8 prototypes/demonstrators are given and about 21-24, maybe even 28 - by my estimation between 8-10 J-20s per unit - is a reasonable estimation.

If - as @Blitzo explained - the ratio is indeed comparable to the J-16, one could even assume that there are 54 (aka 18x 3) built, which would fit nicely the number of J-10s within the last known production batches.

But again. To be taken seriously in a forum, you need to discuss ... so to tell us, you only overflew a report on which you don't know the background but it "looked professional since it is a Japanese one" is not the good start.

Best,
Deino
 
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pegasus

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Again You avoid a direct answer to a direct - and at least IMO - simple question:

1. why do they think there are only ten operational ones when there are already 18 confirmed?

This directly leads to another question you avoided to answer too:

2. is this ...
a) due to the authors research since he simply made a mistake?
b) since he only had old data available or the report was written well before new images appeared?
c) since he has another explanation?

3. Which again leads us to these missing explanations:
a) he has a certain reason to believe, the Chinese have only ten and they are moved around and always get a new number to hide the true numbers/to fool Deino or other fans/... to whatever?
b) he has another option to explain that difference.

By the way, you again mention in Your long post that "are there 20 J-20s build so far and are all operational aircraft? i doubt it because some are prototypes," Again a speculation, that can easily be proven wrong since this list posted above is clearly only for operational ones. As such it omits - or You deliberately ignore - all similar well known demonstrators and prototypes: 2001, 2002 (now 2004), 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016 and 2017. As such there are even 8 individual aircraft more plus the operational ones making altogether at least 26 confirmed individual airframes.

... and this leads me to the final question I also asked several times but never with a received explanation:

4. Why do you believe a Japanese report in a popular magazine, you did not even read completely more reliable as photographic evidence and accepted facts?

5. Why do You even in your text above calculate the numbers given to the lower end against better knowing or at least without an explanation?


Don't get me wrong and I'm surely not advocating like some other fan boys in certain forums that there are already 5 full brigades with 24 J-20 each operational somewhere in far-Western China hidden in mountain shelters or without any serial to hide the truth. I also don't think that it is powered by a +240kN WS-15 from day one, but I think it is acceptable to take the airframes photographed as confirmed so that in sum 8 prototypes/demonstrators are given and about 21-24, maybe even 28 - by my estimation between 8-10 J-20s per unit - is a reasonable estimation.

If - as @Blitzo explained - the ratio is indeed comparable to the J-16, one could even assume that there are 54 (aka 18x 3) built, which would fit nicely the number of J-10s within the last known production batches.

But again. To be taken seriously in a forum, you need to discuss ... so to tell us, you only overflew a report on which you don't know the background but it "looked professional since it is a Japanese one" is not the good start.

Best,
Deino
Take it slowly let me first explain you how the magazine article is divided, it has a short 3 chapters, 3rd, 4th, 5th generation fighter aircraft chapters.
Each chapter has a brief explanation of what are the most typical aircraft in each generation, of course they mention in the 5th generation F-35, F-22, Su-57 and J-20.
They also give a list of all the operational aircraft in each major air force, where they mention China they say China has 10 J-20s operational.
J-20 has a small and brief box where data and history of the jet are given; they say 10 aircraft operational.

There is a list by aircraft type, where they have the most popular and numerous aircraft in service currently.

number one of course is F-16 with 2000+ operational aircraft, Su-27 has around 900+ aircraft, MiG-29 has around 800+ etc etc.

The magazine remember i said regardless of accuracy gives a number for J-20, the magazine is new, is the current issue, at this moment is on sale in any book shop.
Photographic evidence is good I am not questioning that, but an air force can not make plans upon that, air forces need to know where they are based and how many are made because in combat attacking air bases is a priority, so they have other assets such as radars, satellite surveillance, air intercepts.

Further more remember the JSDF air force is intercepting all the time Chinese aircraft, J-20 is multirole aircraft and obviously will intercept Japanese aircraft, upon reading the magazine you can say perhaps they are not intercepting J-20s or they consider they are not really operational despite China claims they are.

F-35 has a longer development period, the program is plagued by issues, Su-57 has had 2 major mishaps, but what China has no problems? everything is running smoothly, F-22 turned so expensive that from 800 it went to less than 200.


Now do you really think J-20 is ready, it has no major issues, or accidents are not happening? the aircraft let us suppose 20 are operational, do you think 20 are operational at any time? first the aircraft is not V/STOL, it requires high maintenance like any jet, it requieres a lot of check ups, experience with F-35 and F-22 shows they are maintenance intensive, delicate because all the stealth coating gets damaged, you can see normal aircraft get their paint damaged, do you think their stealth coating is so good that J-20 has all the jet operational all the time? since it is a non V/STOL aircraft it requiere air bases, and like any aircraft will do interceptions, F-22 has intercepted Russian aircraft, tell me where are the pictures of J-20 intercepting Japanese Jets?

1578443752466.png

there are two possibilities, one is the Japanese article is wrong, something I said by saying regardless of its accuracy, but also remember seeing pictures of J-20 does not give the exact number of how many have been delivered and how many are really operational, and by operational i mean combat ready at any time.

anyway i am not saying the Japanese report is the last word, only that it shows the difficulty of calculating the numbers of J-20
 
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Blitzo

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Again You avoid a direct answer to a direct - and at least IMO - simple question:

1. why do they think there are only ten operational ones when there are already 18 confirmed?

This directly leads to another question you avoided to answer too:

2. is this ...
a) due to the authors research since he simply made a mistake?
b) since he only had old data available or the report was written well before new images appeared?
c) since he has another explanation?

3. Which again leads us to these missing explanations:
a) he has a certain reason to believe, the Chinese have only ten and they are moved around and always get a new number to hide the true numbers/to fool Deino or other fans/... to whatever?
b) he has another option to explain that difference.

By the way, you again mention in Your long post that "are there 20 J-20s build so far and are all operational aircraft? i doubt it because some are prototypes," Again a speculation, that can easily be proven wrong since this list posted above is clearly only for operational ones. As such it omits - or You deliberately ignore - all similar well known demonstrators and prototypes: 2001, 2002 (now 2004), 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016 and 2017. As such there are even 8 individual aircraft more plus the operational ones making altogether at least 26 confirmed individual airframes.

... and this leads me to the final question I also asked several times but never with a received explanation:

4. Why do you believe a Japanese report in a popular magazine, you did not even read completely more reliable as photographic evidence and accepted facts?

5. Why do You even in your text above calculate the numbers given to the lower end against better knowing or at least without an explanation?


Don't get me wrong and I'm surely not advocating like some other fan boys in certain forums that there are already 5 full brigades with 24 J-20 each operational somewhere in far-Western China hidden in mountain shelters or without any serial to hide the truth. I also don't think that it is powered by a +240kN WS-15 from day one, but I think it is acceptable to take the airframes photographed as confirmed so that in sum 8 prototypes/demonstrators are given and about 21-24, maybe even 28 - by my estimation between 8-10 J-20s per unit - is a reasonable estimation.

If - as @Blitzo explained - the ratio is indeed comparable to the J-16, one could even assume that there are 54 (aka 18x 3) built, which would fit nicely the number of J-10s within the last known production batches.

But again. To be taken seriously in a forum, you need to discuss ... so to tell us, you only overflew a report on which you don't know the background but it "looked professional since it is a Japanese one" is not the good start.

Best,
Deino
Take it slowly let me first explain you how the magazine article is divided, it has a short 3 chapters, 3rd, 4th, 5th generation chapters.
Each chapter has a brief explanation of what are the most typical aircraft in each generation, of course they mention in the 5th generation F-35, F-22, Su-57 and J-20.
They also give a list of all the operational aircraft in each major air force, where they mention China they say China has 10 J-20s operational.
J-20 has a small and brief box where data and history of the jet are given; they say 10 aircraft operational.

There is a list by aircraft type, where they have the most popular and numerous aircraft in service currently.

number one of course is F-16 with 2000+ operational aircraft, Su-27 has around 900+ aircraft, MiG-29 has around 800+ etc etc.

The magazine remember i said regardless of accuracy gives a number for J-20, the magazine is new, is the current issue, at this moment is on sale in any book shop.
Photographic evidence is good I am not questioning that, but an air force can not make plans upon that, air forces need to know where they are based and how many are made because in combat attacking air bases is a priority, so they have other assets such as radars, satellite surveillance, air intercepts.

Further more remember the JSDF air force is intercepting all the time Chinese aircraft, J-20 is multirole aircraft and obviously will intercept Japanese aircraft, upon reading the magazine you can say perhaps they are not intercepting J-20s or they consider they are not really operational despite China claims they are.

F-35 has a longer development period, the program is plagued by issues, Su-57 has had 2 major mishaps, but what China has no problems? everything is running smoothly, F-22 turned so expensive that from 800 it went to less than 200.


Now do you really think J-20 is ready, it has no major issues, or accidents are not happening? the aircraft let us suppose 20 are operational, do you think 20 are operational at any time? first the aircraft is not V/STOL, it requires high maintenance like any jet, it requieres a lot of check ups, experience with F-35 and F-22 shows they are maintenance intensive, delicate because all the stealth coating gets damaged, you can see normal aircraft get their paint damaged, do you think their stealth coating is so good that J-20 has all the jet operational all the time? since it is a non V/STOL aircraft it requiere air bases, and like any aircraft will do interceptions, F-22 has intercepted Russian aircraft, tell me where are the pictures of J-20 intercepting Japanese Jets?

View attachment 624377

there are two possibilities, one is the Japanese article is wrong, something I said by saying regardless of its accuracy, but also remember seeing pictures of J-20 does not give the exact number of how many have been delivered and how many are really operational, and by operational i mean combat ready at any time.

anyway i am not saying the Japanese report is the last word, only that it shows the difficulty of calculating the numbers of J-20
It is correct that it we don't know the exact number of J-20s in service.

However, it is incorrect of you to entertain the idea that there are only 10 J-20s in service as suggested by the Japanese magazine because we have visual confirmation of 18 aircraft in operational units (that is to say, excluding prototypes), with it being virtually confirmed that there are actually at least 21 aircraft in service, with likely more in actual service that have not been identified.



Whether J-20 may have suffered setbacks or delays is irrelevant, because your underlying argument suggesting that there are only 10 J-20s in service is blatantly ridiculous given the number of confirmed serials in service is 18 aircraft with 21 aircraft likely.


The Japanese report is far from "the last word" -- it should not have even been seriously entertained to begin with, except as an example of a poor estimate.
 

pegasus

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saying the Japanese report is the last word, only that it shows the difficulty of calculating the numbers of J-20


It is correct that it we don't know the exact number of J-20s in service.

However, it is incorrect of you to entertain the idea that there are only 10 J-20s in service as suggested by the Japanese magazine because we have visual confirmation of 18 aircraft in operational units (that is to say, excluding prototypes), with it being virtually confirmed that there are actually at least 21 aircraft in service, with likely more in actual service that have not been identified.



Whether J-20 may have suffered setbacks or delays is irrelevant, because your underlying argument suggesting that there are only 10 J-20s in service is blatantly ridiculous given the number of confirmed serials in service is 18 aircraft with 21 aircraft likely.


The Japanese report is far from "the last word" -- it should not have even been seriously entertained to begin with, except as an example of a poor estimate.
never i said to be the last word take it easy, but saying pictures is the last word is utterly ridiculous too, because the Chinese are not going to tell more than they want you to know and a serious military analysis requiere much more technological and intelligence assets than people in the internet claiming to know the exact number, is 20 aircraft the real number? perhaps but remember part of war is deception, China only shows what they want to show but in the air and take it clearly you are not a JSDF pilot flying patrol missions near the Senkaku/Daiyu archipelago who has to deal with real fighters and potentially J-20s, we are just guys on the internet seeing picture that the Chinese military allows through propaganda outlets.

For real military guys and I mean the pilots scrambling to intercept Chinese fighters near Japanese territory the number can not be given by outlets like internet pictures but by more advanced technologies and technologies me or you do not possess.
Certainly internet picture analysis gives you some degree of reliability, but it is ambiguous because you can not get the last word just by pictures leaked by Chinese sources with propaganda purposes and not by military purposes. With this i will leave it since we are just going around the same theme and we are not telling anything new
 
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Blitzo

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never i said to be the last word take it easy, but saying pictures is the last word is utterly ridiculous too, because the Chinese are not going to tell more than they want you to know and a serious military analysis requiere much more technological and intelligence assets than people in the internet claiming to know the exact number, is 20 aircraft the real number? perhaps but remember part of war is deception, China only shows what they want to show but in the air and take it clearly you are not a JSDF pilot flying patrol missions near the Senkaku/Daiyu archipelago who has to deal with real fighters and potentially J-20s, we are just guys on the internet seeing picture that the Chinese military allows through propaganda outlets.
Pictures that the Chinese military allows us to see is the minimum that they allow us to see. It is a floor.


I understand you're saying "it's not the last word," but that's not good enough.
I'm saying that you never should have brought it up in the first place because it is massively inconsistent with what we can establish through confirmed pictures. The fact that you even brought it up in the first place thinking it was a reasonable or logical argument is the problem.

Frankly, with all the evidence presented against you, any sensible person would be saying "I understand the Japanese magazine's claim that there are only 10 J-20s is incorrect with current knowledge and was not credible to begin with, the real number in service is confirmed to be bigger than that". You're being very generous to yourself by making it seem like the claim is worth giving serious consideration.



For real military guys and I mean the pilots scrambling to intercept Chinese fighters near Japanese territory the number can not be given by outlets like internet pictures but by more advanced technologies and technologies me or you do not possess.
Certainly internet picture analysis gives you some degree of reliability, but it is ambiguous because you can not get the last word just by pictures leaked by Chinese sources with propaganda purposes and not by military purposes. With this i will leave it since we are just going around the same theme and we are not telling anything new

None of this changes the fact that your argument and claim is incorrect.

Everyone wants to know what the real number of J-20s in service is. But we already have a minimum confirmed number, and that number is bigger than the one you have been harping on about, as if it was a number worth considering.
 

Deino

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1. Take it slowly let me first explain you how the magazine article is divided, it has a short 3 chapters, 3rd, 4th, 5th generation fighter aircraft chapters.
Each chapter has a brief explanation of what are the most typical aircraft in each generation, of course they mention in the 5th generation F-35, F-22, Su-57 and J-20.
They also give a list of all the operational aircraft in each major air force, where they mention China they say China has 10 J-20s operational.
J-20 has a small and brief box where data and history of the jet are given; they say 10 aircraft operational.

There is a list by aircraft type, where they have the most popular and numerous aircraft in service currently.
number one of course is F-16 with 2000+ operational aircraft, Su-27 has around 900+ aircraft, MiG-29 has around 800+ etc etc.

2. The magazine remember i said regardless of accuracy gives a number for J-20, the magazine is new, is the current issue, at this moment is on sale in any book shop.
Photographic evidence is good I am not questioning that, but an air force can not make plans upon that, air forces need to know where they are based and how many are made because in combat attacking air bases is a priority, so they have other assets such as radars, satellite surveillance, air intercepts.

3. Further more remember the JSDF air force is intercepting all the time Chinese aircraft, J-20 is multirole aircraft and obviously will intercept Japanese aircraft, upon reading the magazine you can say perhaps they are not intercepting J-20s or they consider they are not really operational despite China claims they are.
...
there are two possibilities, one is the Japanese article is wrong, something I said by saying regardless of its accuracy, but also remember seeing pictures of J-20 does not give the exact number of how many have been delivered and how many are really operational, and by operational i mean combat ready at any time.

4. anyway i am not saying the Japanese report is the last word, only that it shows the difficulty of calculating the numbers of J-20
Just in short: As expected, nothing but excuses, You were not able or not willing to answer any of the given questions nor did you give any reasonable explanation. All again .. lame excuses.

But step by step:

1. is a clear sign - I would even rate it a proof - for your bias and will to interpret all info you have only the way it fits your opinion: A report that lists the number of aircraft only as a rough estimation (+2000, around 900, ...) is simply nothing but a rough estimation. You however rate the given 10 is a bare fact and ignore every other argument.

2. Again as expected ... completely irrelevant stuff and no explanation: "is new, ... is on sale in any book shop" is that a reason to rated a reliable report?

3. So in return, we have probably a few dozen images available, where USAF F-22s intercept a Russian bomber and in result maybe less than a handful of F-22 identified by serial numbers during intercepts ... does this mean in summary the USAF operates only a few F-22 operationally??
Come on ... did you ever think about, where the current operational J-20 unit is based and how likely it is that they were already intercepting JSDF fighters?

4. No, it only shows your ignorance against arguments, and your strict will to negate and ignore each proof that does not fit your opinion or only to interpret each and every thing you find to downrate it. IMO this is nothing but trolling and exactly the same reason why you were banned already so often under different names.

:mad:
 

icyplanetnhc

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To take a break from all this back and forth, do we have any performance figures on the WS-10 variant that's currently being used on this aircraft? It would be in place of the AL-31FM2 that's currently fitted in operational aircraft, correct?
 

totoro

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I don't think we ever had confirmation j20 was using al31fm2.

Certainly, that is possible, or perhaps even likely. If not, it is likely that at least engine similar in thrust to latest variant of al31fn is installed.

Equally so, it is plausible that if ws10 replaces al31, that it has similar thrust. So around 140 kn of thrust is within reason. (135 to 145 if you will)

But ultimately, it is all guesswork.
 

Deino

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To take a break from all this back and forth, do we have any performance figures on the WS-10 variant that's currently being used on this aircraft? It would be in place of the AL-31FM2 that's currently fitted in operational aircraft, correct?

Indded, as @totoro perfectly explained, the longtime accepted engine was the or at least a AL-31FN Series 3 but from time to time rumours popped up that CAC again arranged a similar contract with Salyut (similar to the once secret deal to develop the FN for the J-10) for an uprated variant based on the M2. This was never confirmed even if from both Russian and Chinese side various "sources" give hint to this.

Therefore a thrust of about 142-145 kN were suggested ... and therefore a similar thrust for the WS-10C.

But as already noted: "ultimately, it is all guesswork."
 

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Any info about faith of AL-41F1S delivered along Su-35?
 

Blitzo

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Any info about faith of AL-41F1S delivered along Su-35?
Nope.

At this stage J-20's engine story seems to be:

1: Prototypes and first production J-20s powered by an Al-31 variant of some kind, followed by
2: a couple of J-20 prototypes powered by a WS-10 variant (easily differentiated by serrated nozzles), that has seemingly led to production J-20s sometime in mid 2019 switching over to the same WS-10 variant [this is the current stage we are at]
3: WS-15 sometime on the horizon to start testing on J-20s and later on to power production J-20s


I"m not sure where the idea of J-20s potentially adopting Al-41s came from, but I've seen it thrown around on a few places on the net.
But there aren't any rumours to that effect which I'm aware of.
 

pegasus

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4. No, it only shows your ignorance against arguments, and your strict will to negate and ignore each proof that does not fit your opinion or only to interpret each and every thing you find to downrate it. IMO this is nothing but trolling and exactly the same reason why you were banned already so often under different names.

:mad:
My argument the whole time is no one really knows, except Chengdu and the PLAAF how many J-20 have been produced, or are being manufactured in factories but them and only them.

If you have the official figure you can call me troll, I will accept it and ask you a personal apology in Public, otherwise consider your estimates, my estimates, Jwings` or any website like https://militarywatchmagazine.com/forceapp/aerial/capabilitiesbycountry/china that claims there are 93 J-20s operational, as non official and therefore potentially flawed.

Remember i said regardless of accuracy because i knew it is one of many estimates, the one published by Jwings this month

You take a cautious estimate based upon pictures, good it is good, but remember you are seeing what China wants you to see, official statements by Chengdu are much more reliable, but at this moment all estimates are that estimates regardless which one is the more accurate, and until we see official numbers we can say, but remember countries also lie, the real operational capability sometimes is keep hidden, and design and operation flaws sometimes hidden too.
 
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In_A_Dream

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Does the PLAAF operate anywhere outside China that would host the J-20 once it hits FRP?
 

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Does the PLAAF operate anywhere outside China that would host the J-20 once it hits FRP?
China doesn't have any airbases on foreign soil and doesn't have any air force presence outside of its borders normally.

Even when J-20 hits FRP, I can't see a strategic rationale for them to base their most capable fighter outside of its borders if they happened to establish an airbase or two overseas. Basing them within China's borders would make much more sense imo, as any air force presence on foreign soil would likely not have substantial defenses nor any significant multi-domain warfighting capability, meaning J-20s based there would likely be very soft targets in event of a conflict.
 

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I"m not sure where the idea of J-20s potentially adopting Al-41s came from, but I've seen it thrown around on a few places on the net.
But there aren't any rumours to that effect which I'm aware of.
Me too.

As far as i see tho, if the J-20's are powered by FN Deriviatives, chance that it can adopt 117S would be rather slim due to simple difference in design. Dont think any 117S variant built with ventrally mounted gearbox. The Russians or Chinese will have to develop new variant of the engine.
 

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I"m not sure where the idea of J-20s potentially adopting Al-41s came from, but I've seen it thrown around on a few places on the net.
But there aren't any rumours to that effect which I'm aware of.
Me too.

As far as i see tho, if the J-20's are powered by FN Deriviatives, chance that it can adopt 117S would be rather slim due to simple difference in design. Dont think any 117S variant built with ventrally mounted gearbox. The Russians or Chinese will have to develop new variant of the engine.
I think we don't really know what exact Al-31 variant the pre-WS-10 J-20s used.

IMO the strongest argument against the idea that J-20 will be adopting some other Al-41 variant (or other Russian engine) in the near future is:
1. J-20s are now being produced with a WS-10 variant, and this is seemingly replacing the Al-31s on the aircraft, meaning they've made the effort to integrate and test the engine aboard J-20 to a sufficient degree of thoroughness to make them comfortable producing J-20s with WS-10s.
2. No rumours of the PLA being interested in powering J-20 with another Russian engine type. This is important, because integrating a new engine type and testing it aboard the fighter is not impossible (they did it with WS-10 to replace Al-31s after all), but without a good rationale to justify that time and effort and cost the idea of J-20s being powered by another engine just after starting production with WS-10s sounds a bit weird. Of course, WS-10s on J-20 will be replaced in due time as well, with the current consensus being that of WS-15 into the future sometime: i.e.: Al-31 -> WS-10 -> WS-15.

There have been no credible rumours or indicators to suggest it will be Al-31 -> WS-10 -> Al-41 -> WS-15
 

In_A_Dream

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China doesn't have any airbases on foreign soil and doesn't have any air force presence outside of its borders normally.

Even when J-20 hits FRP, I can't see a strategic rationale for them to base their most capable fighter outside of its borders if they happened to establish an airbase or two overseas. Basing them within China's borders would make much more sense imo, as any air force presence on foreign soil would likely not have substantial defenses nor any significant multi-domain warfighting capability, meaning J-20s based there would likely be very soft targets in event of a conflict.
That's not true, for example China has a base in Djibouti that was built recently (includes an airstrip & hangars).

I meant to reference any cooperative partners that may train along side or operate with the PLA as well. Similar to how the Russians sent the Su-57s to Syria for a couple brief trips. They don't necessarily have to be formally based there, but they can still be hosted for exercises, forward deployments, etc.

It's only a matter of time.
 

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China doesn't have any airbases on foreign soil and doesn't have any air force presence outside of its borders normally.

Even when J-20 hits FRP, I can't see a strategic rationale for them to base their most capable fighter outside of its borders if they happened to establish an airbase or two overseas. Basing them within China's borders would make much more sense imo, as any air force presence on foreign soil would likely not have substantial defenses nor any significant multi-domain warfighting capability, meaning J-20s based there would likely be very soft targets in event of a conflict.
That's not true, for example China has a base in Djibouti that was built recently (includes an airstrip & hangars).

I meant to reference any cooperative partners that may train along side or operate with the PLA as well. Similar to how the Russians sent the Su-57s to Syria for a couple brief trips. They don't necessarily have to be formally based there, but they can still be hosted for exercises, forward deployments, etc.

It's only a matter of time.
The Djibouti base has an airstrip only suitable for helicopters; it's not big enough to host fixed wing aircraft.
Looking at its size, I'd hardly call it an airbase so much so much as a naval/ground base with ability to support a handful of helicopters.


It's possible that in the more distant future J-20s may do overseas training with foreign partner air forces. But I doubt they're going to deploy J-20s to an active warzone if the PLA were ever involved in one, unless there was a very very good reason to. The PLA is generally rather cautious in sending out its top of the line equipment abroad.
 

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I'm not one to post "old" images, however here are a couple of images of J-20 from a year or so ago which have not had much circulation afaik.
Particularly because one of them is taken from some screencaps of some air to air footage of the aircraft, while the other is from a high angle looking down that appears rather cinematic.


rare j20 2.jpg rare j20.jpg
 

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Partial story rest behind a paywall


I would take this report with a huge grain of salt, especially after reading the discussion at the SDF (p. https://www.sinodefenceforum.com/chinese-engine-development.t252/page-526 to https://www.sinodefenceforum.com/chinese-engine-development.t252/page-532)

Best,
Deino
 

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I don't usually crosspost from SDF or CDF here, but I think the info/rumour dump in this piece warrants a post.

[For those who don't know, yankeesama is one of the major insiders/sources considered to be reliable for PLA matters]

In this paid piece from yankee (which I will not copy out of respect for him, given it is a paid subscription; this is the site however https://member.guancha.cn/post/view?id=1334), he writes some information about the J-20:

- He generally says that the reliability and readiness of J-20 for a new aircraft type is quite impressive
- He states that this year, the next unit to receive J-20 will likely be a NTC unit
- He states that a new BVRAAM that will enter service with J-20 has a similar range to PL-15 but smaller diameter and allow carriage of 6 in the main weapons bay, and greater ability to target stealth aircraft, and also that the kinematic properties of this new missile is designed to emphasize greater ability to target and maeneuver to stealth aircraft at medium to short ranges.
- He states that PL-15 has a capability which sounds a lot like CeC (where one aircraft launching PL-15 can be guided by a different aircraft), and again states it is dual pulse
- He states PL-10 has LOAL
- He states that an A2G missile for J-20 is in development (which we've known about for a while) but won't enter service in 2020, however a Sino-SDB has entered testing (making it sound like it may enter service in 2020)
- He states the luneberg lens on J-20 can be jettisoned from the aircraft in flight
- He also strongly implies that a twin seater J-20 may make its appearance in 2020(?!)
- He states J-20 has conducted training/cooperation with 3rd gen fighters, as well as drones (no additional details)

Those are some of the newest info tidbits I can garner from the piece. If anyone else has also paid for a subscription and has access to it, I'd be happy to be corrected if there's anything I missed.
 

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I don't usually crosspost from SDF or CDF here, but I think the info/rumour dump in this piece warrants a post.

[For those who don't know, yankeesama is one of the major insiders/sources considered to be reliable for PLA matters]
Assuming all the claims are real...

- He states that this year, the next unit to receive J-20 will likely be a NTC unit
Does that suggest one unit receiving J20 per year for 2019 and 2020? Otherwise the wording might be different? Probably way too much conjecture needed to make anything out of that claim.

- He states that a new BVRAAM that will enter service with J-20 has a similar range to PL-15 but smaller diameter and allow carriage of 6 in the main weapons bay, and greater ability to target stealth aircraft, and also that the kinematic properties of this new missile is designed to emphasize greater ability to target and maeneuver to stealth aircraft at medium to short ranges.
The wording suggests not just a variant of existing missile but a whole new missile - from the body, possibly control fins, seeker, possibly/probably due to new body new propulsion unit etc.
Now, what could have prompted Chinese to develop two same class missiles at roughly the same time? It's been only a few years since PL-15 has entered service. And now, barely 5 years later (depending on when it'll actually enter service) another missile hits? If it offers roughly the same performance, will PL-15 go out of production? Smaller mass and dimensions would be good even for other planes, like J-10. Alternatively, maybe it means it's some super duper missile which is too expensive to be produced for all of PLAAF, but its development was still deemed acceptable even if it's just for J20 at the moment? (And maybe other planes like J31 past 2025?)

Greater ability to target stealth aircraft would likely mean a more sensitive seeker, possibly also AESA seeker. I guess it could also mean IIR seeker, but given the medium range requirement I don't think that's really the case. Dual seeker, radar AND IIR would be possible but to cram all that into a small form missile and make it work like it should seems like a stretch.

Maneuver at medium and short range could mean vectored thrust and some sort of prolonged propulsion. Be it ramjet or dual pulse rocket.

- He states that PL-15 has a capability which sounds a lot like CeC (where one aircraft launching PL-15 can be guided by a different aircraft), and again states it is dual pulse
Cooperative engagement would be expected in this day and age. Dual pulse as well, from such a large missile with such allegedly long range. I'd be more surprised if somehow PL-15 doesn't have at least one of those two features.

- He states PL-10 has LOAL
Again, very much expected from a missile of such class in this day and age. Especially since stealth planes are using it. Otherwise how would J31 use it or how would J20 lock onto targets at one half of the frontal hemisphere (with the fuselage blocking the view to other half)

- He states that an A2G missile for J-20 is in development (which we've known about for a while) but won't enter service in 2020, however a Sino-SDB has entered testing (making it sound like it may enter service in 2020)
Would be interesting to learn some day about that AtG missile. Is it something maverick like, role wise? Something like Spear? JSM like? Or even JASSM like, since weapon bay is so large? Or it's an anti-radar missile? Or perhaps even something similar to AARGM? Basically, J-20 could benefit from not just one AtG missile but from several different kind, covering a large number of roles.

Sino SDB being in testing and possibly being in service by the end of the year would have to mean it hasn't just recently entered testing but possibly a few years ago. Again, not really surprising, as PLAAF severely lacks guided weapons, be it of small or large form. And going straight to a small form also makes sense, given the advances in precision and limitations of stealth planes. It remains to be seen if it'll be a simple satnav bomb or something with other seekers.

- He states the luneberg lens on J-20 can be jettisoned from the aircraft in flight
Seems like a nifty option, especially with a wide range assortment of different lenses with different RCS. To be honest, it's something I'd expect F-22 and F-35 be using for some time now.

- He also strongly implies that a twin seater J-20 may make its appearance in 2020(?!)
This is perhaps the strangest claim of them all to me. We're seeking all around the world that twin seaters are not really necessary for training anymore. Not just for fighters but for multirole planes as well. And if J-20 somehow did need twin seaters for training - then it'd make sense to have one ready almost from the beginning. Obviously, after several units trained for J20 on the singleseaters - that's not the case.
UNLESS - the training is indeed not up to specs and the PLAAF has decided (probably years ago, possibly in 2016 or so when they allegedly go their hands on the first airframes) the initial program thinking was wrong and that they DO want the twinseaters for training. Now - why would they want twin seaters for training when F22 or F35 don't - that's anyone's guess.

Another possibility is that we're seeing a new variant meant for additional roles. Where the second seat would help perform those roles. Again, for ground strikes the second seat may not be necessary. But different air forces view things differently. Maybe while USAF thinks they're not necessary the PLAAF may think they are. Since we don't even know the technology involved and possible different workloads on that single seat in F35 and J20 - it's impossible to guess what's the reasoning there.

Would the second seat mean a fairly simple redesign? If so, it'd also probably mean less fuel. Which is not really compatible with a strike variant.
It could mean a bit more of a redesign, making the plane draggier, but generally of same proportions and slightly higher weight. That way extra fuel might be used to retain the range requirement. Possibly at the expense of some stealth if we're talking about various protrusions for bigger fuel tanks. Again, not really something that's good for a strike role.

Or could it mean the twin seat variant is something more complex? Perhaps a longer plane, with a bigger wing? That'd suggest a serious redesign effort, perhaps closer to what FB22 was to be to F22. If so, it'd take years more to test and enter service. And also it'd mean we'd really be looking at JH-20. Replacing the JH7 eventually. And if so, then Chengdu would become by far the biggest combat plane maker in China, eclipsing SAC by a large margin. Again not sure how likely all that would be.
 

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On the other hand, there has been an increasing backlash against overreliance on simulators in both the civil and military arenas.
 

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Assuming all the claims are real...
That kind of goes without saying, though I'm treating his statements here with the same kind of value that his statements in many past years have been.
 

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Blitzo

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Does that suggest one unit receiving J20 per year for 2019 and 2020? Otherwise the wording might be different? Probably way too much conjecture needed to make anything out of that claim.
The wording doesn't imply what rate new J-20 units will be raised in, but this overall piece is one of predicting/projecting J-20 developments for J-20 and that a NTC unit will likely be the next to receive J-20s.


The wording suggests not just a variant of existing missile but a whole new missile - from the body, possibly control fins, seeker, possibly/probably due to new body new propulsion unit etc.
Now, what could have prompted Chinese to develop two same class missiles at roughly the same time? It's been only a few years since PL-15 has entered service. And now, barely 5 years later (depending on when it'll actually enter service) another missile hits? If it offers roughly the same performance, will PL-15 go out of production? Smaller mass and dimensions would be good even for other planes, like J-10. Alternatively, maybe it means it's some super duper missile which is too expensive to be produced for all of PLAAF, but its development was still deemed acceptable even if it's just for J20 at the moment? (And maybe other planes like J31 past 2025?)

Greater ability to target stealth aircraft would likely mean a more sensitive seeker, possibly also AESA seeker. I guess it could also mean IIR seeker, but given the medium range requirement I don't think that's really the case. Dual seeker, radar AND IIR would be possible but to cram all that into a small form missile and make it work like it should seems like a stretch.

Maneuver at medium and short range could mean vectored thrust and some sort of prolonged propulsion. Be it ramjet or dual pulse rocket.
My impression is one of a whole new missile as well.

IMO the two missiles are slightly different in nature.
- PL-15 entered service first around 2015, and we saw it emerge in testing in the early 2010s (2011 or something), and it was likely developed using late 2000s technology. Rumours say it's a got your AESA seeker, two way datalink, dual pulse motor, and the good stuff. But it's also a bigger missile than your AIM-120D (though arguably having some advantages compared to what we publicly know about AIM-120D if the capabilities of PL-15 are to be believed), meaning J-20 internally can "only" carry four of them.
- This new BVR missile (some call it PL-20, but let's call it "new BVR missile" for now) seems like it is meant to allow J-20 to carry six of them, but to also have enhanced counter stealth applications than PL-15 and enhanced maneuvrability while having similar maximum range. Assuming it enters service in the next year or so as Yankeesama implies, then it likely would have been the result of development using mid 2010s technology. The enhanced counter stealth applications in terms of guidance could be dual mode guidance (ImIR+ARH, not dissimilar to Stunner/David's Sling which is quite a small missile too) or more advanced seekers, or composite guidance or whatever -- while enhanced maneuvrability could be anything from multi pulse motor or maybe (unlikely IMO) ramjet or maybe TVC or maybe attitude control (similar to what's on PAC-3MSE and proposed for CUDA) or a combination.



Cooperative engagement would be expected in this day and age. Dual pulse as well, from such a large missile with such allegedly long range. I'd be more surprised if somehow PL-15 doesn't have at least one of those two features.

Again, very much expected from a missile of such class in this day and age. Especially since stealth planes are using it. Otherwise how would J31 use it or how would J20 lock onto targets at one half of the frontal hemisphere (with the fuselage blocking the view to other half)
Yes, I know, I'm just conveying that this is information that he is outright stating.


Would be interesting to learn some day about that AtG missile. Is it something maverick like, role wise? Something like Spear? JSM like? Or even JASSM like, since weapon bay is so large? Or it's an anti-radar missile? Or perhaps even something similar to AARGM? Basically, J-20 could benefit from not just one AtG missile but from several different kind, covering a large number of roles.

Sino SDB being in testing and possibly being in service by the end of the year would have to mean it hasn't just recently entered testing but possibly a few years ago. Again, not really surprising, as PLAAF severely lacks guided weapons, be it of small or large form. And going straight to a small form also makes sense, given the advances in precision and limitations of stealth planes. It remains to be seen if it'll be a simple satnav bomb or something with other seekers.
As part of that passage he mentions KH-59MK2 and JSM before mentioning the new A2G missile for J-20, so I'm strongly inclined to believe it would be in that class.
We've had rumours in the last couple of years from PB as well that such a missile with similar parameters to KH-59MK2 and JSM was in development for J-20, so I would be inclined to believe Yankee is talking about the same missile.


This is perhaps the strangest claim of them all to me. We're seeking all around the world that twin seaters are not really necessary for training anymore. Not just for fighters but for multirole planes as well. And if J-20 somehow did need twin seaters for training - then it'd make sense to have one ready almost from the beginning. Obviously, after several units trained for J20 on the singleseaters - that's not the case.
UNLESS - the training is indeed not up to specs and the PLAAF has decided (probably years ago, possibly in 2016 or so when they allegedly go their hands on the first airframes) the initial program thinking was wrong and that they DO want the twinseaters for training. Now - why would they want twin seaters for training when F22 or F35 don't - that's anyone's guess.

Another possibility is that we're seeing a new variant meant for additional roles. Where the second seat would help perform those roles. Again, for ground strikes the second seat may not be necessary. But different air forces view things differently. Maybe while USAF thinks they're not necessary the PLAAF may think they are. Since we don't even know the technology involved and possible different workloads on that single seat in F35 and J20 - it's impossible to guess what's the reasoning there.

Would the second seat mean a fairly simple redesign? If so, it'd also probably mean less fuel. Which is not really compatible with a strike variant.
It could mean a bit more of a redesign, making the plane draggier, but generally of same proportions and slightly higher weight. That way extra fuel might be used to retain the range requirement. Possibly at the expense of some stealth if we're talking about various protrusions for bigger fuel tanks. Again, not really something that's good for a strike role.

Or could it mean the twin seat variant is something more complex? Perhaps a longer plane, with a bigger wing? That'd suggest a serious redesign effort, perhaps closer to what FB22 was to be to F22. If so, it'd take years more to test and enter service. And also it'd mean we'd really be looking at JH-20. Replacing the JH7 eventually. And if so, then Chengdu would become by far the biggest combat plane maker in China, eclipsing SAC by a large margin. Again not sure how likely all that would be.

It's definitely the most out there statement to make.

He describes the twin seater as a fully combat capable trainer with enhanced command capability.

IMO, that does not suggest to me a "JH-20" (i.e.: not an "FB-22" equivalent), but rather more of a J-10AS to J-10A. IMO the amount of work needed to develop a true "JH-20" to make such an aircraft worthwhile would be very significant and substantial structural changes.


I think that a twin seat combat capable/command variant could make sense if it can fulfill 2 (or 3) roles that a standard single seat J-20 cannot:
1. Combat capable trainer role -- the PLA likely recognizes that there is a need to enhance training capacity and training speed of J-20 pilots and having only simulators may be deemed not sufficient. The scale at which F-35s are proliferating in the region means not only is there a need to accelerate delivery of J-20 airframes themselves but also to accelerate associated development of the human resources side of things (pilots in this case; but also the crew to maintain aircraft as part of the logistics chain)
2. Combat command role -- a twin seat aircraft will allow a "systems officer" to better command and allocate tasks in a complex battlespace to friendly aircraft while the aircraft itself operates in the battlespace, in a manner that a single pilot cannot manage. The electromagnetic battle space (with stealth, EW/ECM, ESM, active and passive sensors) is only likely to become more complex in coming years, and even with sensor fusion and automation, having a number of aircraft that can have enhanced "forward battle management" capabilities may be very useful.
(3. Combat drone command role -- similar to 2. above, this is basically the same thing but having your "systems officer" also have the role of "drone command" role, to better be capable of commanding UAVs and UCAVs in the battle space while doing the same mission as aforementioned as 2.)

IMO, if the PLA was only interested in having 1 of the 3 above capabilities, it may not have made sense to develop a dedicated two seat version. I think they might have just bitten the bullet and accepted that they'll have to make do with a single seater J-20 to do the role. But if they were interested in all 3 roles, then I think together those 3 roles would be impetus enough to develop a dedicated twin seater variant.
Of course other additional secondary roles include potential for a J-20 twin seater acting as a jammer, or forward "battle space ESM/intelligence" aircraft etc, in a way that is superior to what a single seat J-20 could do.


My guess is that a "J-20AS" will likely basically have the same dimensions as a normal J-20A, but with a second seat and possibly a slightly elevated spine/dorsal bulge for avionics. The aircraft will obviously have significantly greater weight than a single seat J-20A and be less maneuvrable (though will seek to retain similar range). However it will otherwise retain the same weapons bay dimensions, same overall dimensions and control surface arrangements.

However I consider the prospect of a J-20 twin seater to be very eyebrow raising as well, but the only reason I'm taking it with some level of seriousness is because it's from yankee.
 
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Blitzo

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I made a more detailed translation/summary, which may be of interest:

Old info/info that can be surmised:
  • J-20 entering production with WS-10 engines since last year (per many photos that were hinted at mid 2019 and higher res by late 2019).
  • Generally that J-20 is stealthy and has demonstrated very good results, described as incredible etc. Stuff that you'd expect for a new 5th gen aircraft for an air force operating it for the first time.
  • Generic information regarding J-20 being very capable etc in the PLAAF fleet.
  • Generic information about seeking to greatly rollout logistics, tactics and J-20 airframes, given urgency to match proliferation of F-35s in the region.

New info:
  • He generally says that the reliability and readiness of J-20 for a new aircraft type is impressive, and it has been compared almost to a "veteran".
  • He states that this year, the next unit to receive J-20 will likely be a Northern Theatre Command unit.
    • Reminder: the first combat unit to receive J-20s was 9th brigade in Eastern Theatre Command. The first two units in the country to receive J-20s overall were two units whose responsibilities are tactics development unit and advanced training/strategic reserve, respectfully.
  • He states that a new BVRAAM will enter service with J-20 (or has entered service?? We've gotten some mixed messages recently on the status of it) and have a range close to PL-15 but with smaller diameter to allow carriage of 6 in the main weapons bay -- he also emphasizes that this new BVRAAM is designed to have greater ability to detect and track stealth aircraft (fighters). Connected to that last part, he says the kinematic properties of this new missile is designed to emphasize greater ability to target and maeneuver against stealth aircraft at medium to short ranges which seems to be where he thinks stealth on stealth engagements are most likely to be decisive.
    • My note: we've known that a new BVRAAM that J-20 could carry 6 internally was in the works (vs 4 PL-15s at present), but there's been some recent confusion regarding what the designation of this new BVRAAM is (some say PL-20, some say otherwise), and if it is designed for J-20 to carry 6 internally.
    • However Yankee seems very convinced it is a missile with dimensions for J-20 to carry 6 in its ventral bay, and this piece was published barely a month ago so I'll defer to him.
  • He states that PL-15 has a capability where one aircraft launching PL-15 can have the missile guided by a different aircraft (basically a type of CeC, sounds like), and states PL-15 has two way datalink and has a dual pulse motor (the last parts we've known about for a while).
  • He states PL-10 has LOAL.
  • In regards to A2G capabilities for J-20:
    • He states that an A2G missile for J-20 is in development (which we've known about for a while). He mentions a few other A2G missiles like JSM and Kh-59MK2, strongly implying the missile in development for J-20 are of a similar class (which is again consistent with what we've heard about this missile in the past).
    • He also mentions a few small size PGM (think SDB-like) weapons we've seen in the past at airshows/arms expos (FT-5, CM-506KG), and says such a weapon is in testing and implies it could enter service on J-20 in 2020. He doesn't mention specifically what model it is (if it is one of the models we have seen revealed in the past or if it's a new one entirely).
  • He states the luneberg lens on J-20 can be jettisoned from the aircraft in flight.
  • He states J-20 has conducted training/cooperation with 4rd gen fighters, as well as drones.
    • My note: we've known about the former for years now, but this is the first time hearing about the latter in an explicit manner. Unfortunately there aren't any additional details regarding what kind of training or cooperation J-20 has engaged with drones in.
  • He strongly implies that a twin seater J-20may make its appearance in 2020(?!), and it would be a fully combat capable trainer with enhanced command capabilities.
    • My note: this is definitely the biggest eyebrow raiser for me. We've heard some superficial rumours that a twin seater J-20 might be in the works for a few years now, but this is definitely the most recent persistent mention of it from someone considered to be very credible. I'm sure we can all consider what the roles of a twin seater 5th generation aircraft may have.
 
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In_A_Dream

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If there's anything the Chinese can do right, it's tell a great fable.
 

Deino

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Rarely seen J-20s with pylons and if I'm not mistaken, it's the first time we see this twin-PL-12/-15 launcher/adapter on the outer ones ... or is this even a triple launcher?

(Images via @秋秋Q30 from Weibo)

J-20A 2017 + pylons.jpg J-20 2017 + pylon.jpg J-20A 2013 + AAM pylon xl.jpg J-20A 2013 + AAM pylon +.jpg
 

Blitzo

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